Saturday, 12 November 2016

Brexit brings the thing the left fear the most. Debate.


Various commentators, probably on the left and probably in the Guardian will claim that the election of Trump along with Brexit is proof that neoliberalism and austerity has been a disaster. We can expect endless tomes about the "left behind" and how globalisation has blah blah blah. It's all so boring I can barely even finish the sentence.

Lift the hood of this introspection and you can see what it really is. Firstly there is an attempt to pathologise Brexiters/Trump (Trumpeters?) followed by a scapegoat. Neoliberalism will likely be the first port of call. Personally I have never come across a satisfactory definition of neoliberalism. It seems to be a left wing catch all for "thing I don't like". Murdered through overuse. If it is said to mean small government and low tax then I know of no western nation that qualifies. As to austerity, a few marginal cuts to social programmes for the bottom decile doesn't really qualify either.

As to globalisation, that's just a thinly veiled attempt to blame Mrs Thatcher for effectively exporting all our heavy industry. The problem with that is that right now across the far east shipyards are also laying off hundreds of workers as there is a glut in steel along with a collapse in demand for shipping - made acutely worse by the fact that you don't need that many people to build a ship these days. It's a precise engineering job increasingly taken over by robots. But of course if you pick any one of these scapegoats it excuses the left from assigning blame where blame should go. The left.

Spin back to 2009 and just after the banks had kicked us all squarely in the bollocks we had the likes of Obama telling us that energy prices under his plan would skyrocket. This was about the time when our own administration was busy plastering hillsides with wind turbines. The climate change orthodoxy was so entrenched that even a hint of scepticism was considered synonymous with holocaust denial.

So tight was the atmosphere of political correctness and stage managed politics the only way a Conservative government could come to power was by adopting the clothes of the green movement and continuing all those policies which added considerably to our energy bills. This prompted howls of outrage from the Telegraph staffers, and the husky hugging antics of Cameron had the right of the Conservative Party departing in droves for Ukip. That's when the Brexit ball really started to roll.

This was also about the time when petrol broke the £1 barrier. We imagined it would only be a temporary spike. It became permanent. Then in 2011 VAT went up to 20%. In the space of two or three years disposable income for many stretched families simply evaporated completely.

Of course the elephant in the room here is the financial crisis in which everybody has their own pet theory. The left wing narrative is of course unregulated banks - which is a constant source of hilarity to anyone who has actually examined banking regulation. There are telephone directories of them. It's true that capital adequacy rules were insufficient but if we go down to ground zero and look at the root causes, it was the US Community Reinvestment Act that spawned the debt bubble with the US government effectively underwriting reckless lending. Meanwhile the then Labour government was spending like a drunken sailor.

For the whole of the noughties, every Western government had abandoned any kind of fiscal frugality or self discipline and Labour was only too happy to buy itself a compliant voter base in the ever expanding public sector. The "austerity" we have seen since 2010 has been a normalisation, not a cut.

So where are we now? We're in a stagnant economy where growth is anemic with a less dynamic labour market, less job security and in a word where even humble life expectations are dashed. Meanwhile just about every daily expense has near doubled. You can see why the europhile argument of freedom of movement doesn't really resonate when half the country can barely afford a wet weekend in a Skegness caravan.

And who holds the key to this? Government. They are the ones piling on the costs. And this is why, for those who did believe the £350m a week mantra, Brexit is seen as a plus. Of course, it isn't that simple and we won't be saving anything like that amount and there are no immediate easy answers but the sentiment is easily read. Voters are not feeling especially generous and they don't fancy giving money away or sinking it into political vanity projects.

The 2008 Climate Change Act was passed by a massive majority - piling on massive costs to energy, committing us to major future spending while closing down a number of power stations requiring us to fill in the capacity gap with expensive stop gap measures. Can you imagine that? The political establishment being so completely divorced from the reality of the massive financial strife we were facing that they gleefully waved through a major bill ramping up household costs for everyone. And they wonder why we think they are out of touch!

And this has major parallels with Brexit. It has been done to us by deception without our consent where the central point of dispute is an article of faith. Like the EU, climate change theory is adopted by the left because an existential threat if basically a free licence to confiscate our money and control our consumption and our behaviour.

And that very much is at the core of left wing psychology. It is the assumption that they are the moral and intelligent few and only they are qualified to make decisions for people at every level of their lives. The idea that they should have to debate and win the argument is anathema to a leftist. They are entitled to tell us what to do you see.

From the hectoring over sugar levels and the amount of meat we eat, to the petrol we put in our cars (and just about every other freedom we enjoy), everything is fair game for the left. If they can't ban it they will tax it. Having taken control of nearly every institution from the EU to academia, they have created an atmosphere whereby anyone daring to question the orthodoxy is harassed and ostracised to the point where climate change has become a facet of the wider culture war.

Over the years we have drifted into a political orthodoxy that is so restrictive that free enquiry has left the building and free speech has terms and conditions. You cannot enter politics or academia unless you conform to the climate change orthodoxy or at the very least keep your scepticism firmly to yourself. Consequently the entire edifice of government and NGOs is staffed almost entirely by left wingers in a governance empire where it is difficult to tell where NGO ends and government begins.

This is why climate change scepticism and euroscepticism go hand in hand. This is why Brexit is so pivotal. It's about power. It cuts one of the heads off the hydra. In this, as eureferendum.com notes, this issue is going to test the "double coffin-lid" structure of governance, where we get rid of the "inner lid" only to find global rules stand between us and liberation.

This is why a Trump win, ghastly though the man is, is Christmas to us on the right. It doesn't matter a jot to us that he is a strategically shaved ape. The fact is, he is the first major Western leader to break ranks from the politically correct orthodoxy. It is a crack in the dam. Crucially though, it is not the first crack. Just recently, Chicago university (I believe) issued a statement banning the use of safe spaces and I expect the culture of no-platforming is not going to last much longer either. With that comes real academic debate where more and more sceptics will break their silence. 

One way or another the near total domination of the narrative by the left is coming to an end. The people of the West have had their say and are no longer willing to tolerate the oppression of the elites or the self-imposed growth killing doctrines of the left. There is a way to go yet to see which way this goes but the left is most certainly losing its influence. They won't go without a fight and Brexit alone is not going to be enough. Without climate change and without the EU they lose their means of control and their excuse to bleed us dry. 

The existing order has delivered a decade of stagnation and offers us no way out. Nobody can say if this revolution can change things but it is clear we are seeing an outright rejection of the toxic left and their failed ideas. There is for the first time in thirty years the opportunity to change all of the assumptions upon which economic policy rests. That means there are no sacred cows and everything is up for debate. Calling people racists and deniers has jumped the shark. In this, if the left wish to be heeded, they will need to construct some arguments worth hearing. I won't be holding my breath. 

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